BZ's Dream Machines 2010

Photo Gallery

Sort of a last moment thing, I found out about the Pacific Coast Dream Machine event at Half Moon Bay airport. The Dream Machines event is all about cool machines: wonderful classic cars, monster trucks, custom machines of every type, historical planes, and warbirds. I had a tough decision to make: go to the event and shot pictures of static displays and people shots, or hang by the runway and shoot pics of planes taking off and landing. It was a difficult choice, but I decided to go for the action shots!

Took my Sigma 150-500mm OS lens with the D300. Unfortunately, starting having electrical issues with it due to a loose mount. Image stabilizer would flake once in a while too. Still, came away with some memorable shots due to the great location and lighting. Lens went back to the manufacturer for servicing though! - Bernard Zee

Taking passengers up for rides all day long was this beautiful yellow T-6.

An RV-9A, one of the cool looking kit planes that came and went that day.

Cubcrafters CC11-160 aircraft, based on the Piper Cub, but using modern materials .

Cessna 172M flown by the Seagull Flying Club.

Twin engined Beechcraft C-45, or 'Twin Beech' was another plane making lots of flights for passenger rides.

Used as a military transport during WWII, it has a crew of 2 and can carry 6 passengers.

Another plane giving rides that day was "Stanley", a 1930 New Standard Biplane. The plane can hold 4 passengers in the front cockpit.

The pilot having a bit of fun right after takeoff!

A Bell 47G-2A-1 makes a short hop. Same type as those Korean era helicopters as seen on MASH, which were designated as H-13 Sioux.

A really cool Lake LA-4 amphibious float plane with a high pusher propeller.

A close view of the Twin Beech at takeoff.

A Great Lakes Model: 2T-1A-2, which is an aerobatic biplane.

The T-6 Texan is a popular warbird and a common sight at many airshows.

A handsome view of Stanley as it flies close by overhead.

A beautiful silver Yak 18 takes off from HMB airport.

The Yak 18 was used by the Soviets as a trainer at the end of WWII.

The North Koreans used the Yak 18 as a night bomber during the Korean war. Nicknamed 'washing machine charlie' because of the sounds made by the 5 cylinder engine.

Lots of shooting opportunities on the yellow T-6!

Same for the Twin Beech!

One of the highlights there had to be Strega.

Strega is a highly modified P-51, which competes in the Reno air races in the unlimited class.
Click play below to hear Strega during takeoff!

An 8 time unlimited Gold class champion, Strega is one fast plane!

The plane will be flown this year by Steve Hinton - a legend in warbird circles.
Here's the music of Strega on a high speed pass.

After making some nice high speed passes, Strega is back on Terra firma.

Next up were the warbirds, which made a great entrance taking off in formation!

Heading the pack were this pair of P-51 Mustangs: Merlin's Magic, and Ridge Runner.

Interesting to see the back of the air scoop open up during take offs.
Click play below to hear the 2 Mustangs followed by the T-28 Trojan taking off.

'California Dreaming' is a T-28 Trojan.

This great looking F8F Bearcat has lots of power to spare!

Very excited to get such great angles on the planes!

This is an awesome looking Yak 9U named Barbarossa.

The Yak 9 was used succesfully by the Soviets as a fighter, escort, and ground attack during WWII.

The Yak 11 'Moose' was the most widely used Soviet trainer. Also saw some combat by the North Koreans during the Korean war.

'Blyak' has Bullwinkle as its noseart - likely a play on the NATO codename of Moose for the plane type.

Click play below to hear the Bearcat, 2 Yaks, and the Mustangs taking off one after another!

'Comfortably Numb' is a P-51 Mustang. Probably a Pink Flyod fan!

He was the last plane in the group to take to the air.

Immaculate looking plane! Great sounding too.

The planes joined up, and did a couple of passes in formation.

Great position to catch a head on shot of the passes!

Tough to track accurately when they get close, and going so fast!
Hear the P-51 as it flies past. Gorgeous sounding machine!!

Here's Merlin's Magic again.

Here's another sound clip of a P-51 followed by a T-28 as they make a close pass. Quite distinctive sounding planes!

The T-28 Trojan sounds leisurely as it cruises by.

Whereas the Mustang's sound is all power and business!

The Yak 9 passes directly overhead - what a thrill!

This is the sound of the Bearcat mixed with the Yak 9 passing pretty much overhead!

Blyak passes overhead too, but a little higher.

Before the fighters retire, this T-6 takes to the air.

Here's the unique sound of T-6 at takeoff. The prop tips go supersonic and make a really loud noise!

Technically, it's an SNJ-5, since it's a Navy version.

The Bearcat moments before landing showing off it's long pogo stick legs.

This Bearcat is operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Southern California Wing.

The red Yak 9 'Barbarrosa' is owned by Eddie Andreini.

Blyak flew for a while in the Reno races, and is popular plane on the airshow circuit.

Here's 'Comfortably Numb' moments after touch down. Tail wheel still in the air.

As the speed drops off, the tail wheel comes down - which then makes it harder to see forward!

The SNJ making its pass.

Another Twin Beech (E18S) painted in Marine colors drop in for the show.

A aerobatic style biplane caught with a relatively slow shutter speed - blurs the prop and background, giving a sense of motion! No idea what it is though: looks like a cross between a Great Lakes 2T-1A, and a Baby Great Lakes.
Update: Got a note from Ed Wischmeyer saying the plane is a "..,Marquart Charger. This particular one was built by Gail Turner, her second airplane, and is one of the more well-known examples." Thanks for the info Ed!

This is a Aero Commander 500U. Also used by the military as a L-26. The type flew Eisenhower as a presidential transport, and is the smallest 'Air Force One'!

A multi-colored Texan takes off.

One of the star attractions there had to be this DC-3.

Operated by the Hiller Aviation Museum, the DC-3 looks really clean!

Hear the low drones of a DC-3 at takeoff!

The DC-3 was one of the most successful airplane designs, and some are still in use as transports over 70 years later! The military version of the DC-3 was called the C-47 and used extensively by the Allies during WWII.

Having a similar feel to the cars of that era, the Cessna 195A has a wonderful retro look to it.

The Cessna 305A was used by the U.S. military in the Korean and Vietnam war as a liaison and observation aircraft. The plane was called L-19 or O-1 Bird Dog by the military.

This Beech would overfly the runway at a good clip, then pull up sharply. Probably lots of fun for the passengers!

I believe this beautiful yellow plane is a Boeing PT-17 Stearman.

Stearmans have a unique sound too!

Originally designed as trainers, these planes were also used as cropdusters and barnstormers.

Here's another AT-6D Texan. This one operated by California Warbirds Museum based in Hollister, CA.

A Hoang Son Thai RV6A takes off with smoke on.

Looks like a Pitts Special S2-B, which was specifically made for aerobatic flying.

Great looking Cliff Starduster II SA300 plane.

Also giving rides was this 1927 Curtiss Wright Travel Air 4000.

This Boeing B75N1 is also called a Stearman.

Generally, all Stearmans have the same airframes, just different engines installed.

Neat little Vans RV6 plane.

One of the harder worked planes that day.

On this side of the airport, I could get the taxi and landings - but not takeoff shots.

This interesting little amphibious plane is a Czech Aircraft Works Mermaid. Falls under the Experimental class.

Here's the T-28 getting ready to depart for theday.

Really quite a huge aircraft!

Nifty little pusher plane is a Carmenzino Burton Vari-Eze. Quite futuristic looking.

Here he is again, this time landing!

Getting late in the day, it's time for Strega to go home.

You can still sort of tell it's P-51 lineage.

One last pass!

Also time for Blyak to go.

Looks and sounds interesting!

Taking off is a Dehavilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter. This plane type is also used by the U.S. Army parachute team.

Here's a different T-6 taking off.

This unique little gyroplane is a Air and Space America Model 18A. Though an engine spins the rotor before takeoff, it is not powered in flight. Crazy huh?

This is a Pilatus PC-12, made by Switzerland. The U.S. actually has a small number of these planes (called U-28A) for special operations.

After take off, the Pilatus swings back around for a nice pass.

Comfortably Numb gathering speed for a takeuff.

These planes took off together. The O-1 has already split and is higher up out of the frame.

And here's the O-1 Bird Dog!

Of of the main attractions at the show was this B-25 Mitchell.

On static display all day, it wasn't until the show ended that I got to see it fly!

'Heavenly Body' is one sweet looking Warbird!
Hear's the B-25 engines pushed to the max at takeoff! Helps to have a subwoofer hooked up to your speakers.

Loud too! Which all is what B-25s are famous for.

So nice of them come back around to buzz the airfield after takeoff!
Here's the sound of the B-25 as he makes his pass.

Loving it!

The B-25 was used in every theater of WWII, and was used in low level strafing and skip bombing attacks with great success.

An unexpected bonus was seeing the 2 Beechcraft planes taking off together!

Great photo op for sure!
Click play to hear them taking off.

Here they are lining up to overfly the runway.

They look like they're really close here, but it's probably just the zoom.

The CAF Bearcat was one of the last planes to leave.
Here's the sound of him taking off.

The visiting Twin Beech makes one last fast pass, breaking directly at my position!

OH MY GOD!! What a thrill!!